Game Animals, White-tailed and Mule Deer
- DEER (READ THE REMAINING SECTIONS VERY CAREFULLY)
- A "buck deer" is a deer with a hardened antler protruding through the skin. A "spike buck deer" is a BUCK with no antler having more than one point. ALL OTHER DEER ARE ANTLERLESS DEER. A spike buck must be tagged with a buck deer tag from the hunter's hunting license or applicable permit.
- White-tailed Deer - Except for deer taken under MLD permits, no person may take more than five white-tailed deer or more than three bucks (all seasons combined) in one license year. Bag limits in individual counties may be less (see County Listings).
- Mule Deer - The annual bag limit is two mule deer with no more than one being a buck (all seasons combined). See County Listings for antlerless permit requirements.
- Antler restrictions apply only in certain counties (see County Listings). In these counties, the bag limit is two legal bucks, but only ONE may have an inside spread of 13 inches or greater. In these counties, a legal buck deer is defined as having:
- a hardened antler protruding through the skin AND;
- at least one unbranched antler; OR
- an inside spread measurement between main beams of 13 inches or greater (does not apply to a buck that has an unbranched antler).
- In these counties it is unlawful to take more than one buck with an inside spread of 13 inches or greater.
- To determine if a buck has an inside spread measurement of at least 13 inches, look at the distance from ear-tip to ear-tip on a buck with ears in the alert position (see illustration).
- Does not apply on Level 2 or 3 MLDP properties.
- Definition of a point: A point is a projection that extends at least one inch from the edge of a main beam or another tine. The tip of the main beam is also a point.
Not a Point
Ears in alert position
13 inches apart and
may be used to judge
the inside spread.
at least one
at least one
inside spread of
13 inches or greater
This buck meets
none of the criteria.
- WHITE-TAILED DEER YOUTH-ONLY:
- This does not apply to properties that have Level 3 MLD permits, or in counties where there is no open general season for white-tailed deer.
- Age Restriction: Only licensed hunters 16 years of age or younger are eligible to participate in youth-only deer seasons. Youth Hunting License Required (Type 169).
- Early Youth-Only Season: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 27-28, 2012. All legal hunting means and methods are allowed, except in Collin, Dallas, Grayson and Rockwall counties, where lawful means are restricted to archery only (no crossbows except for youth with upper limb disability).
- Late Youth-Only Season: Jan. 7-20, 2013 . The season is open in all counties where there is a general open season for white-tailed deer. All legal hunting means and methods are allowed, except in Collin, Dallas, Grayson and Rockwall counties, where lawful means are restricted to lawful archery equipment and crossbows.
- Bag limits, take of antlerless deer, and special requirements:
- In Anderson, Brazos, Camp, Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Gregg, Grimes, Henderson, Hopkins, Hunt, Lamar, Leon, Madison, Morris, Rains, Red River, Robertson, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood counties, the bag and permit requirements are the same as the period Nov. 22-25, 2012 for each respective county (see County Listings); and
- For the remainder of the state, the bag and permit requirements are the same as for the first two days of the general season in the county (see County Listings).
- In a county where antlerless deer may be taken only by permit, a permit is required to take antlerless deer during the youth seasons.
- Hunter education requirements apply to all youth hunters.